- May - St. Francis of Assisi resigns from the leadership of the Franciscan Order.
- August 8 - Battle of Lihula: The Estonians defeat the invading Swedes.
- November 22 - Frederick II is crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Honorius III.
- The Mongols first invade the Abbasid Caliphate; Bukhara and Samarkand are taken.
- The Kara-Khitan Khanate is destroyed by Genghis Khan's Mongolian cavalry.
- The Dominican Order is approved by Pope Honorius III.
- Conrad of Masovia drives out the heathen Prussians from a Masovian territory of Chelmno Land.
- Trial by ordeal is abolished in England.
- The German Hohenstaufen dynasty, which had ruled Sicily since 1194, adopts Palermo as its principal seat.
- Dordrecht receives city rights, making it the oldest city in the present-day Netherlands.
- Ljubljana receives its town rights.
- The Islamic lands of Central Asia are overrun by the armies of the Mongol invader Genghis Khan (ca. 1155-1227), who lays waste to many civilizations and creates an empire that stretches from far Cathay to the Caspian Sea. However, he fails to destroy the strength of Islam in Central Asia.
- St. Benedict of Nursia is Canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
- The rebuilding of the Cathedral of Chartres, which had been destroyed by a fire in 1194, is completed.
- Rebuilding of the York Minster begins.
- Building of the Salisbury Cathedral begins.
- November 11 - Alphonse of Toulouse, son of Louis VIII of France
- Thomas Ercildoun, Scottish minstrel
- Alexander Nevsky, Grand Prince of Novgorod and Vladimir
- Przemysł I of Poland
- Yaroslav of Russia, Grand Duke of Vladimir
- Walter de Burgh, 1st Earl of Ulster
- February 17 - Theobald I, Duke of Lorraine
- April 15 - Adolf of Altena, Archbishop of Cologne
- Michael Choniates, Byzantine writer and ecclesiastic
- Farid od-Din Mohammad ebn Ebrahim 'Attar]], Persian mystical poet
- Saxo Grammaticus, Danish historian
- Henry de Bohun, 1st Earl of Hereford
- Mestwin I of Pomerania
- Queen Urraca of Portugal, spouse of King Afonso II of Portugal